Subject: SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 20 - 30 mins (possibly daily)

Topic: Gratitude

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will create a comic journal documenting what they’re grateful for.

Know Before You Start: Understand the practice and science of gratitude and why it’s important for mental/emotional health.

Hook: Have students take thirty seconds to picture something or someone they’re truly grateful for.

  • What do they see?
  • What do they feel? 

Discuss what they envisioned and the emotions they experienced. E.g., feeling warmth, feeling safe, feeling less tense or feeling happy.

Explain: Gratitude isn’t just saying “thank you.” It’s pausing and really feeling the feeling in your body.

Practicing daily gratitude has been scientifically proven to have long-lasting effects on the body and especially the brain . The more you practice the more positive your perspective becomes. (Greater Good Magazine, Berkeley.edu).

Activity: It’s time to create a gratitude comic journal entry. Each two-to-four-panel entry should include:

  • A detailed description of one person, thing, or event they are thankful for.
  • Narration in captions.
  • Dialogue in speech or thought bubbles.
  • Intentional outfits/ backgrounds that help illustrate their gratitude.
  • Avatars of people or pets if celebrating gratitude about them.
  • A date in the first panel caption.

Suggested prompts to get students thinking:

  • Who unconditionally supports you in your life? Thank them and tell them why they are so special to you in a comic panel.
  • What is a place you are grateful to have visited or get to be in often? Describe why you like it in your comic panel. 
  • What talents are you grateful for that you have? Show us your avatar being thankful for those talents.
  • What is one memory you are grateful to have? Show us that memory and why you are grateful for it.

Closure: If they choose, Teachers may have students create one or more entries each week in order to create a year-long journal of gratitude in comic form. These can be printed or shared online.

Reflection Questions (to be shared over time):

  • How has routinely practicing gratitude changed you emotionally? Mentally?
  • Have you practiced gratitude in different ways e.g., sent a thank you letter, called someone to thank them, etc.

Differentiation:

  • Provide checklist for comic expectations.
  • Allow students to use speech to text as needed.

Resources: